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Grow your Medicine and Start Healing


This week I have to change my diet to a low fiber one since I will be getting a colonoscopy. I know it is a bit off topic when I consider this is a blog about growing food on an urban lot. But is it really? We live in a modern world where medicine is advancing at a rapid rate each day, week or month. People are living with all kinds of diseases that used to be a death sentence; even cancer today is one that people can survive from and live with as a chronic disease. There are pills created each year to help our bodies keep running smoothly.

They instruct you about 5 days before your colonoscopy to stop eating popcorn, berries, nuts, and seeds. You can’t eat any raw vegetables, whole grains, and absolutely NO legumes. There are even more restrictions which I am not going to list here, but trust me it does not leave me with much to eat. I have to do this procedure since colon cancer deaths are among some of my relatives on my Father’s side. I am grateful for this type of screening but to tell you the truth, it is miserable to not be able to eat the life-giving foods I count on for health.


My food is my medicine. I have been trying for the past decade to use the food I grow or purchase from local or regional organic farmers throughout the United States to heal my body. I am continually educating myself about the benefits of whole foods for healing. I keep adding new plants to my Urban Potager to grow each year. It amazes me how wise many of our ancestors were that came to this country. Many of them were not as educated as people are today.They brought many old world traditions and seeds with them in their pockets. If not for these foods, I doubt many of them would have survived the new country they discovered. Their food was their medicine.

“Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food.”

― Hippocrates

We all have a lot of stress from living in this fast-paced world. It just clicks along, and there are days you wonder how do I get through another day. We collapse in our beds at night and all this connectedness leaves us with very little quiet time. The noise from this world can be a bit much at times. I find growing food and hanging out in nature equips me with the ability to stay pretty stress-free. When did you last HEAR a bird sing? Took the time to watch butterflies flying around your garden? When was the last time you unplugged and went outside to just bask in the sun or sit under a tree? You know like you did as a kid. When time was something you filled with curiosity.


We all need to start looking to our food as “medicine” rather than something to shove into our mouths and race off to do the next task. I am not saying you have to become obsessive about everything you put in your mouth. Just switching food choices out or learning to cook more of our own meals at home can make a difference in our overall health.

Get out there in the soil in your backyard, side yard, or growing in pots and get dirty. Try to grow some of your own food. If you work all day in an office take some time to get outside in the evening when you come home. You can grow some plants in pots on your porch. Create a place to sit away from your computer, cell phone or our constant negative TV news.


It is 18 yrs since we moved to our home here on 35th street and back then I  dreamed of finally having room to grow a kitchen garden. Initially, all I wanted back in 1999 was a simple kitchen garden.  I had no idea my journey would take me to adding dwarf fruit trees, bushes and tearing up all my lawn. I would say my diet 18 yrs ago was nothing like the one I eat every day today. I have changed what I am eating by what I can grow and purchase. I have learned so much from having my hands in the soil on my city lot.

This ‘low fiber” diet for 5 days is something I NEVER in my life expected would be such a challenge. I had no idea these foods were so crucial to my overall well-being. Growing food changes you; when you spend time outside growing some of your own food you connect to the soil and the world our ancestors brought with them many generations ago. It really does matter what we put in our bodies, and we are more connected to the earth than we ever realized.

It will be more evident in the future how connected we are to nature. All this 24/7 information is pushing us to overload. It is showing up in our health as we age in this culture. I believe we were created to have our hands in the earth and be apart of the natural world around us. Too many people are so disconnected to where their food comes from or spend even 5 minutes outside. Anxieties are on the increase today. Did you know that soil holds a bacteria that is more powerful than Prozac? Yes, it is. You can read my post (here) about Prozac 

I present a goal for us all in 2018. Let’s get outside and get dirty! Yep, get our hands in the soil and start growing something, anything it will make a difference in your health.You will see the changes!

14 replies »

  1. Hope your colonoscopy goes well Robbie. I have experienced them in the past but never had to do a low fire diet five days before. Just fasting from previous evening. There is nothing like fresh food, we have limited fresh greens at the moment so i can’t wait for growing season to start in earnest.

  2. My sympathies about your prep and procedure. 😦 As my mom died of colon cancer, I’ve undergone many colonoscopies, each one being worse than the one before due to extreme dehydration that occurs from the prep (my veins collapse, making IV insertion hellacious). I learned only last year from my doctor that I don’t need to do them unless my annual fecal smear has blood in it. I felt like I’d been given the Get Out of Jail Free card!

    • LOL…I sure hope I get a Get Out of Jail Free card-Eliza-you make me laugh!!!!! I am glad you are all okay though, I would miss your beautiful photos, flower creations, and wisdom:-)

      • Eliza-I want to apologize that I forgot to give you my condolences about losing your mother yesterday in your comment. I read your comment in the sidebar. I find it difficult to process a comment or respond in that sidebar. It is good you are taking care of yourself and we won’t be losing you to the “C”. It is very hard to lose your mother. Mine is 84 this year and I treasure the time I have with her for I have many friends that lost their mothers at a young age.

      • Robbie, you are so kind. I did lose my mom at a young age, but that is 40 years in the past and I have long accepted that I was granted a shorter time than most. I am glad that you treasure your mother, relationships are the most important aspect in life, IMO. I guess that was the greatest thing I learned from her loss. Love, and express that love every chance you get. 🙂 ❤

      • Big Cyber Hug for you ( ) …Your mother was blessed with an amazing daughter + all of us get to enjoy your gifts to us all which are many!!!

  3. Well, Robbie I would really be in a pickle if I had to reduce my fiber intake! There wouldn’t be much for me to eat in this plant-based lifestyle. One of the inside jokes we rebut to the old “where do you get your protein” adage is “where do you get your fiber?” Ha ha ha. Just wondering if your doctor has informed you about a FIT test which is less invasive but still screens for colon cancer. Of course there are some limitations especially if one has hemorrhoids, etc. Good luck with your test and kudos to you for being on top of it with your family history and all!

    • LOL..ain’t that the truth!!! All I eat is fiber 🙂 it seems:-)I was thinking this morning, no berries for 5 days ,UGH…what do I eat for fruit. It is a test that can save lives so we need to do it for it is simple. I will check out the FIT test for next time. Enjoy your warm weather we are still a few weeks behind in spring. Things are poking through and I am very excited to get out there and plant!

  4. I hope everything is fine with your test. It’s better to know than not. I always think of food as medicine so I couldn’t agree with you more.

    • ty:-) I am all clear and so grateful we have these tests to keep us healthy too-I am eating all my berries, nuts and seeds this morning!!!I had no idea how dependent on them I was for my health.So good you know the truth too! We just need to get the word out to others. I always plant extra food plants in the spring to pass along to friends, neighbors and others. I hope they get hooked like us-food is our medicine:-)

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